(Pocket-lint) – The GoPro Hero 10 Black is the latest and greatest offering from the brand synonymous with action cameras.
And while the Hero 9 brought a dramatic overhaul, the Hero 10 Black is – at least on the surface – more of an iterative update.
Despite the familiar appearance, GoPro says a lot has been put into the new Hero, touting it as the most powerful option it’s ever made.
We tested the camera to see how much these tweaks improve what was already the best action camera on the market.
Is it still the one to beat or are the competitors starting to close the gap?
If you want the best possible image quality from an action camera, the GoPro Hero 10 Black is definitely the camera to buy.
GoPro didn’t reinvent the wheel with this release, but it took the best action camera available and improved almost every feature. HyperSmooth stabilization is best in class, and if you like slow motion, the blazingly fast frame rates on offer here will delight you to no end.
As with the Hero 9 that preceded it, we wish it wasn’t quite as bulky, but the size is understandable given the features and resolutions on offer.
Considering all the unique designs coming to the action camera market from DJI and Insta360, it’s also a little disappointing to see the same chassis used by GoPro. But, again, this tried-and-tested case is very tough, and the front glass is often handy. It just doesn’t have the wow factor of some competitors.
At the end of the day, cameras are all about one thing: image quality. In this department, the GoPro Hero 10 Black delivers in spades.
GoPro Hero 10 Black
4.5 stars – recommended pocket plushes
- Doubled maximum frame rates in most resolutions
- Menus are much easier to navigate
- HyperSmooth is better than ever
- Hydrophobic lens coating actually works
- Same chunky chassis as the Hero 9
- Prone to overheating at higher settings
- Battery life could be improved
- App connection is finicky on Android
- Weight: 153g
- Waterproof up to 10m / 33ft
- Replaceable hydrophobic lens cover
The GoPro Hero 10 Black is almost identical to the Hero 9 Black, as we mentioned above. The only visual changes are the blue logos on the front and side of the camera, which were gray on its predecessor.
It’s also shed a marginal amount of weight, coming in at a few grams lighter than the Hero 9. In practice, you’re unlikely to notice much of a difference, although we’re glad to see the weight drop, as the cameras GoPro have tended to get heavier with each generational release.
The lighter weight also didn’t make the camera any less durable. It feels dense and solid in the hand, and we can imagine it withstanding some serious abuse – although, admittedly, we haven’t thrown ours off a cliff yet.
There’s now a hydrophobic coating on the lens protector, which is also designed to repel water droplets when shooting in wet and wild conditions. We first thought this was a bit of marketing nonsense, but it actually makes a big difference. Given how often GoPro cameras are often used to film surfing, skiing, etc., this could come in very handy. The lens cap is the exact same size as the Hero 9, so if you were desperate for that hydrophobic coating, you can always grab a replacement lens and stick it on your 9.
Elsewhere, everything remains the same. You have a large side door that locks securely and covers the battery, USB-C port and micro SD card slot. Two metal mounting tabs fold out from the base and you have a large touchscreen on the back, as well as a smaller screen on the front of the camera.
Video and photo capture
- Video resolution: 5.3K/60fps, 4K/120fps, 2.7K/240fps
- Photo resolution: 23MP
- HyperSmooth 4.0 and horizon leveling up to 45 degrees
The biggest improvements to this camera come in the form of frame rates. Across all resolutions, the maximum frame rate nearly doubled. This means you can shoot slow motion at 120fps in 4K or 240fps in 2.7K. You can also now shoot at 24fps in all resolutions, a feature that wasn’t available at launch and has since been added in firmware updates – very handy for those mixing footage with traditional cameras.
The image produced is familiar, with the characteristic sharpness and saturated colors we’ve come to expect from GoPro’s color profiles. However, there are more options than ever to tweak that image.
Previous Hero cameras let us choose between GoPro Color and Flat profiles, but the Hero 10 changes things up a bit, offering the choice between Vibrant, Natural and Flat instead. The natural profile was the most pleasing image to our eyes because, as the name suggests, it looks quite natural. Vibrant is akin to the old GoPro Color option and Flat is designed to capture the maximum dynamic range for in-post editing. Overall, the footage looks a lot like the Hero 9, just with more options for different resolutions and frame rates, and it works just fine for us.
One area that has noticeably improved is image stabilization. HyperSmooth 4.0 does a truly superb job of stabilizing video footage even in the toughest conditions. It also does this smoothly, gradually increasing corrections to avoid robotic-looking movements. It’s amazing to think that a few years ago, producing footage like this involved carrying around a bulky gimbal, which still rarely performed as well as HyperSmooth does today. Horizon leveling has also improved dramatically, now able to hold a lock on steeper slopes than ever before.
In the photo department, we get a 3-megapixel boost over the last generation, and HDR and RAW shooting options remain present. Images are crisp and detailed, provided you have sufficient lighting. That said, low-light is still a weak point of the Hero 10. You can also extract 19.6MP stills from your 5.3K 4:3 video footage, allowing you to pick the perfect moment from anywhere. once-in-a-lifetime stunt. .
Last but not least, there’s an abundance of time-lapse and hyper-lapse options with support for stabilization and horizon leveling. These don’t appear to have changed dramatically since the last gen, except that TimeWarp can now take advantage of the Hero 10’s superior HyperSmooth stabilization.
Features and battery
- Replaceable 1720 mAh lithium-ion battery
- Live streaming functionality
- GP2 processor
Thanks to the new GP2 processor, the touchscreen responsiveness of the Hero 10 Black is ahead of its predecessor. The navigation is so much smoother and the initial startup time is a little faster too. It’s not quite smartphone-level, but it’s a much-needed improvement over the Hero 9’s relatively clunky menus. recording, which, although not the most important thing, adds a layer of refinement to the device.
The Hero 10 uses the same batteries as the last generation, which is both positive and negative. For one, those who upgrade can continue to use their existing batteries to keep the Hero 10 powered up.
But, on the other hand, there is certainly no improvement in battery life. In fact, it could be a bit lower due to the more power-hungry chip inside. It would seem that GoPro is aware of this and since its release has started offering an extended Enduro battery as an option. It would have been nice if that was included in the box, but hey, maybe that will be the case with the Hero 11.
Speaking of things included in the box, there’s now a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to Lightning cable. This enables wired transfer of clips to your smartphone, which is much faster than the wireless option and a godsend for anyone who’s ever had to play around with the Quik app in the middle of nowhere.
You can also live stream to Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook using the GoPro Quik app, which could be a handy option for content creators on the go. However, in our experience, the wireless connection between Android phones and the Hero 10 (or any GoPro camera) is rarely painless, and relying on that for a live stream seems less than ideal. .
GoPro didn’t innovate much with the Hero 10, choosing instead to build on all the aspects that made the Hero 9 so good. This collection of improvements adds up to create the best GoPro experience yet. Image quality is the best you’ll find on any action camera, added frame rates let you create epic slow motion shots, HyperSmooth is the best it’s ever been and the touch screen interface is now fluid. If you want the best action camera money can buy, the GoPro Hero 10 Black is exactly what you need.
Written by Luke Baker. Editing by Conor Allison.